In an effort to improve tax and license services. the city of Santa Barbara will launch an online business portal and move to a calendar-year business license renewal period in January.
The new online system will allow businesses to apply for, renew and pay their business license payments online. Avenu Insights & Analytics will administer the new system on behalf of the city’s finance department.
As part of the change, the city will transition to a calendar-year based business license tax program. The change begins with the 2023 license tax year.
All current business licenses will expire Dec. 31 and will require business licenses to be renewed in January. Thereafter, all business license tax certificates will expire on Dec. 31 of each year.
Businesses that have already paid into 2023 will be eligible for a tax credit on the 2023 tax obligation that requires renewal by Jan. 31.
The city sent letters this month to businesses to explain the new process, according to a news release.
After the change takes place Jan. 3, businesses will still be able to apply, renew and pay for their business license in person at the Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on alternating Fridays.
“We are excited to offer this customer service improvement to the thousands of businesses that do business in the city,” Keith DeMartini, the city finance director, said in the news release. “Implementing an online portal, allowing payment online with a credit card, and standardizing the renewal process will allow for greater ease, more transparency and more efficient processes, ultimately saving time and money,”
Earlier this year the finance department launched its online budget book to increase transparency. In addition, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada recognized the department for financial reporting for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year 2021.